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The city of Petra, is one of the most famous tourist sites in the world, it is Located 240 km south of the capital Amman and 120 km north of the red sea town of Aqaba, Petra is undoubtedly Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction, and it is visited by tourists from all over the world.
Petra is known as the ‘rose-red city’, a name it gets from the color of the rock from which many of its structures were carved.
It has great natural, cultural, archaeological and geological features. Each time you visit it you will discover something new. It is one of the new seven World Wonders.
On December 6, 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage Site,, also Petra was chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the 28 places you should visit them before you die
Tours in Petra
History of Petra.
Petra is more than two thousand years old, although it is not known precisely when it was built, but the city began to prosper as the capital of the Nabataean Empire from the first century BC through trade in frankincense, myrrh, and spices. As a result of earthquake combined with changes in trade routes, the city was ultimately abandoned, and by the middle of the seventh century it appears to have been largely deserted and was then lost to all except local Bedouin from the area.
In 1812 a Swiss explorer named Johannes Burckhardt set out to ‘ rediscover’ Petra, when he convinced his Bedouin guide to take him to the lost city.
Tourist and great sites you will find in Petra.
Your point of entry to the ancient city of Petra and its world-renowned monuments will be at the VISITOR CENTRE, where you can purchase tickets, guidebooks and obtain information before visiting the site. As you pass this point you will find yourself back to the historic city of Nabataeans, visiting the most great sites and locations that are talking about the great nations who lived there among that time.
- BAB AL SIQ (the Gate of Siq). As you approach the Siq you will see three massive Djinn blocks which are squared monuments carved from the rock. You will then come to the Obelisk Tomb, which the Nabataeans carved in the first century AD.
- THE DAM. That is built by Nabataeans to divert the flash floods of Wadi Mousa from the Siq to Wadi Al Mudhlim and Wadi Al Mataha. A tunnel, which is 88 meters long, was cut into the rock for this purpose.
- THE SIQ. It is the spectacular gorge that leads into the ancient city, it is just about one kilometer long and resulted from the natural splitting of the mountain. Siq reveals vividly colored geology of the area. As well as presenting a dramatic entrance into Petra, the Siq also holds many relics from Petra’s past.
- THE TREASURY (AL KHAZNA). The Siq opens up onto Petra’s most magnificent façade, the TREASURY, or Al KHAZNA ( in Arabic ), which rises to almost 40 meters high. Although the original function is still a mystery, the treasury is believed to be the mausoleum of the Nabataean King Aretas IV (9 BC- 40 AD).
- THE THEATRE. Carved into the side of the mountain at the hoot of the high place of Sacrifice, the theatre consists of three sections of seating rows separated by passageways. It can accommodate 4000 spectators.
- THE ROYAL TOMBS. Four magnificent adjoining facades on the right side at the end of the central route through the city.
- THE CHURCH. It was probably built around the end of the fifth century AD and is thought to have been destroyed in the following century, either by a fire or an earthquake. Much of the building material such as the capitals, door jambs and relief were reused from earlier monuments in Petra.
- THE COLONNADED STREET. This street represents an original Nabataean creation, later refurbished during the period of Roman occupation. It would have been one of the principal shopping streets of ancient Petra.
- GREAT TEMPLE. The Great Temple Complex is one of the major archaeological and architectural monuments of central Petra. The style and quality of the temple’s elaborate floral decorative bands and limestone capitals laden with acanthus leaves, suggest that this sanctuary was constructed by the end of the first century BC by Nabataeans, combining their native traditions with the classical spirit.
- QASR AL-BINT. This monument is almost square and is set on a podium. It was the main temple of Petra and still stands 23 meters high. The temple is approached by a flight of 26 marble steps. The rear of the sanctuary is occupied by the distinct elements; the middle one protects the altar platform that housed stone blocks representing gods and goddesses, while the two others had balcony terraces. The temple dates to the first half of the first century AD.
In addition to the mentioned above sites there are many sites, monuments in the City that give some information about traditions, culture and craftsmanship of the people at that time.